Customer experience has never been more important in business, with innovations across the board, from engagement and conversions to retention and customer service. Technological breakthroughs have fuelled huge advancements, but perhaps none more than artificial intelligence.
It’s no secret that AI can streamline customer experience processes and boost profitability, but learning how to leverage it is another issue altogether. That’s why we’ve put together our seven secrets, aimed at any company interested in using AI to improve customer experience. You don’t need to be a tech genius to get started, so let’s go.
You can’t talk about using AI to improve customer experience without mentioning one of its greatest strengths: understanding who you’re talking to.
Put simply, rather than your team members trawling through every interaction to pick up clues, you can improve customer experience strategy by setting algorithms in motion to scan emails and chats, then direct your user to the right person. This not only saves your team on wasted time, it means every customer will get a satisfactory reply as soon as possible.
As a side benefit, this kind of artificial intelligence for customer experience will automatically place your users in the appropriate category within your CRM, depending on how they interact with you. With every conversation and purchase, you feed your database with more information that gives you an ever-clearer picture of how each individual thinks and behaves.
And it’s not just the interactions that are saved. Every purchase your customer makes is logged in your database. Artificial intelligence allows you to collate data from purchases to understand how your customers use your product, for example, how often they buy and in what quantities. The best part is that AI continuously learns about your customers to give you up-to-date ideas of each user’s progression.
Many of the following secrets for using AI to improve customer experience rely on a well-informed CRM to function. From providing relevant content to making suggestions and personalizing communications, understanding your customers is one of the cornerstones of an AI-driven customer experience.
With a fully informed CRM, you can customize every interaction with personal details. Using a customer’s first name when sending a marketing email is far more personal than a generic message that could be for anybody. It makes your customers feel valued and they’re much more likely to react positively.
But when you’re using AI to improve customer experience, you can go beyond personalization with just names, and instead target them with products you know they’ll love. By looking into past purchases and behavior as they navigate your website, you can use AI to improve customer experience by making a newsletter that is relevant to their interests.
And it’s not just about marketing. By tracking your customers across the web, AI in customer experience lets you solve issues they may be experiencing. For example, they may visit your FAQ page or send an email with a specific issue. AI tools can pick up on the error and reply with a how-to of how to resolve the issue.
Similarly, if you get a high volume of communications about a specific problem with one of your products, you can get ahead of the game and send out a pre-emptive solution to every customer who has purchased the same product.
WIthout AI, you’d have to rely on an impossibly consistent stream of communication between your customer service agents to stay ahead of the game. However, using AI to improve customer experience, your CRM analytics will highlight issues before they snowball into bigger problems.
Similar to your targeted marketing campaigns, another way that AI can improve customer experience is by providing real-time hints and nudges for decision-making. This process allows you to foster customer loyalty by always having the right solution at the right time. Informed by past purchases and behavior across your website, artificial intelligence can inspire your customers with:
Suggestions of items that similar customers bought
Helpful extras that go with past purchases
Reminders to reorder
Helping users with their decision-making doesn’t just improve customer experience strategy. Your sales team will benefit from impulse buys and combination purchases — a real win-win. With such a seamless, personalized customer journey, your users are also more likely to come back to you when they need a simple fix to their problem.
However, you don’t even need to put all your efforts into tips based on your users’ habits. With location data on your customers, you can suggest relevant ideas. For example, if it is due to be a stormy week ahead, a special offer on umbrellas in a certain region would go a long way to improve your customers’ experience.
Predictive hints like this help your customers resolve issues by themselves, which most users value highly. And this is great news for your customer service team. By using AI to improve customer experience, you reduce the need for further communication, keeping calls and emails to a minimum.
When considering how AI can improve customer experience, it’s easy to think of the end product. But the customer journey is much longer than that. Someone at the top of your sales funnel doesn’t necessarily want to be in touch with a salesperson who is expecting to seal the deal. Therefore, you need to optimize your communication strategy throughout the journey and make it appropriate for each stage.
Firstly, you should have a range of locations where your customers can reach you. Social media is one of the most common routes, but contact forms, telephone, email, instant messenger, and even video calls can’t be ignored. Nowadays, you can’t expect your customers to only reach you through one of these channels, therefore one of the best ways companies are using AI to improve customer experience is by connecting the dots.
Within your CRM, your team should be able to support your customers through any channel all from one app. However, you can also leverage AI to respond instantly to your customers — whatever the platform. With similar messaging across all platforms, you create a far more engaging customer experience.
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Chatbots have become almost ubiquitous in high-performing e-commerce sites over the past years, and for good reason. If you haven’t used them before, chatbots are automated instant messaging features that can have a conversation with your customers. They may involve text, they may involve options and suggestions, but they guide your customers to a solution, whether it’s a new or existing customer.
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they’re a convenient alternative both for customers and your teams. Speaking of teams, chatbots are vital to two main areas in customer experience: sales and customer service.
Starting with sales, chatbots get to work from the first interaction, gathering data and creating a profile in the background as they automatically qualify your new lead. Based on keywords through the conversation, they can decide if the lead is ready for direct communication with your sales team. Sure, this is great for focusing your sales agents on where they can be most effective, but it is also great for customer experience.
In customer service, chatbots can solve questions in a few seconds. As more and more people move away from the telephone and onto instant messenger, AI in customer experience cuts out call queuing and provides human-like answers with little fuss. If instant messaging proves too complicated to explain a concept, chatbots can also direct users to blog posts or video explainers to get the message across.
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but using AI to improve customer experience doesn’t just cover your public-facing operations. By streamlining your internal processes, you can free up your schedules and your brainspace to offer a more considered, personal approach to your customers.
Designing a great customer journey is among the most vital aspects of providing good customer service. With AI-driven tools such as chatbots and automated email marketing, you can cut out time-wasting and repetitive tasks, allowing your team to concentrate their efforts on the human touch.
In the same way, you can automate your workflows, meaning each step communicates with the rest. Customize dependencies that will set one task as soon as the previous one is completed. Every task outsourced to AI represents more time for you and your team to focus on strategy and improvement, rather than putting out fires and patching up error-prone workflows.
When you leverage AI to improve customer experience, you cut out the guesswork. This is because your AI systems can analyze huge chunks of data in a matter of seconds, giving you tangible data that informs your approach. Link your sales workflows up to your analytics and you can quickly see what’s working well and where your blockages are. Therefore, rather than working from the anecdotal evidence of your team, you get hard statistics that give you a full and clear picture.
In summary, optimizing your internal workflows with AI affords your team a more organized approach which will translate into an improved customer experience.
We briefly mentioned analytics in the previous paragraph, and here is where we’ll dive into more detail on how AI can improve customer experience by using analytics.
One of the best ways of including analytics in your artificial intelligence for customer experience efforts is to set warning signs for specific metrics so you can nip potential issues in the bud. Within your CRM, you can set targets and unacceptable levels for KPIs such as customer churn, customer satisfaction,
Like so many points on this list, AI excels by using cold, hard data to inform decisions. It’s often difficult to spot where things are going wrong from a human perspective. But numbers don’t lie, and preventative warning signs can focus your team’s efforts on what really counts. With all the time you’ve freed up by catching a problem early, you can work on strategies to win back customers who you’ve lost.
Numbers are one thing, but if you want to get the details, you can launch automated feedback forms for abandoned carts, unsubscribers, and complaints. As all the data comes in, you can save your team the work of investigating one by one and instead receive a report of keywords to pinpoint what you need to target.
From personalized communication to a CRM that automates so many of your time-consuming tasks, using AI to improve customer experience is impossible without the right tools.
Far from targeting just one area of your business, using AI to improve customer experience covers a wide range of teams and departments that work in synergy with each other. That’s why at Bitrix24, we’ve designed a platform where all your business tools work in harmony with each other.
So if you want to streamline your website builder with your email marketing campaigns, and your customer feedback with powerful analytics, sign up to Bitrix24 today and get AI on your side.